no remorse | 

No apology as Wicklow man who raped step-niece when she was a child is jailed

Victim Nicole Gummerson was aged between seven and eight years old at the time

Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin

Isabel HayesSunday World

A man who sexually assaulted and raped his step-niece when she was a child and he was a teenager has been jailed for seven years.

Tony Gummerson (42) was found guilty by a jury of four counts of sexual assault, two counts of oral rape and one count of raping his step-niece Nicole Gummerson on dates between September 1997 and March 1998 following a Central Criminal Court trial last June.

He was 17 while she was aged between seven and eight years old at the time.

Gummerson has four previous convictions for sexual assault and was jailed for three years in 2012. He is the brother of Ms Gummerson's step-father, the court heard.

Dominic McGinn SC, prosecuting, told the court Ms Gummerson wished to waive her right to anonymity.

Sentencing Gummerson today, Ms Justice Eileen Creedon noted he does not accept the verdict of the jury and as a result has shown no remorse nor apologised to his victim.

The judge said the sexual abuse took place “behind closed doors”, often after Gummerson had woken his step-niece from her sleep, and it therefore involved an element of planning and premeditation.

Gummerson was babysitting at the time of the abuse and was 10 years older than his step-niece, leading to a significant breach of trust, Ms Justice Creedon said. She noted the abuse has had life-long consequences for Ms Gummerson.

The most significant mitigating factor in the case was Gummerson's young age at the time of the offending, the judge said. She handed down a nine year sentence and suspended the final two years on a number of conditions.

Detective Sergeant Ross O'Callaghan told the court the abuse started in September 1997 when Gummerson took the child into the bathroom and kissed her. The court heard the abuse escalated, with Gummerson sexually assaulting and orally raping the girl. It culminated in him raping her.

Ms Gummerson disclosed what had happened to her in 2016. A victim impact statement was handed into court but not read out.

Gummerson, of Kindlestown Park, Greystones, Co Wicklow, has two children from his first marriage and is now re-married, the court heard. He previously worked as a wedding photographer.

Feargal Kavanagh SC, defending, noted Gummerson was 17 at the time and should be sentenced as a child. He said his client was anxious to know what his sentence would be so he can move on.

The sentence was backdated to when Gummerson went into custody in June 2022.

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